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Winegrowing in Spain has a long and ancient tradition, already 3000 years BC. Chr. Were cultivated vines. The founded around 1100 BC The city Gadir (today&39;s Cádiz) and operated rain trade in wine in the Mediterranean. The first flowering period was 200 BC. Chr., Because the Romans loved the wine from Baetica (Andalusia). The development was stopped by the invasion of the Moors in 711. For religious reasons, the Muslims cleared large parts of the vineyards or allowed only the production of , They brought the art of which, however, was not used for alcoholic beverages, but essential oils, as fragrances and fragrances. Only after 700 years did the Christians succeed in reconquering and, as they advanced southwards, they laid new vineyards. As in many other countries, it was mostly monks who used to prepare vines near their monasteries planted. In the following centuries, viticulture became an important economic and export branch. From the beginning of the 16th century, the conquistadors brought huge quantities of wine to the newly discovered America. The Spaniards planted there in many areas of European vines, thus initiating viticulture on this continent, especially in Central and , They made a significant contribution in many countries of the world ,
In the second half of the 19th century fell the also in Spain and destroyed most of the vineyards. But Rioja was spared for the time being and when the pest reached this area in the early 20th century, most of the vineyards were already planted with grafted vines. The French could no longer meet the demand for wine in their own country due to the vineyards destroyed by phylloxera. First, French traders bought large quantities of wine in Spain, later many French winemakers emigrated to Spain and operated viticulture. Their sophisticated cellar technology has left a lasting mark on viticulture until today.
In the early 1930s there was political unrest. These eventually led to the Spanish Civil War and ended in 1939 with the victory of the nationalists under General Franco. During this time vineyards and many wineries were destroyed on a large scale. After opening the borders and joining the In 1986 there was a new beginning in Spanish viticulture. From the 1960s began a big boom with the typical Spanish wines Rioja and Sherry , Today Spain is one of the most dynamic wine countries in the world. In 2012, the vineyard area amounted to 1.017 million hectares, of which 31.1 million hectoliters of wine were produced. This puts Spain in the absolute top spot worldwide and is a knight and constantly for the first place (see also under ).
Spain is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe (after Switzerland and Albania). The land is criss-crossed by large river veins that provide water for the vineyards. These are Ebro and Duero in the north, the Tagus in the west, the Guadiana in the south, and Júcar and Turia in the east. Spain is divided into three climatic zones. In the "green Spain" in the north with , Asturias, . . . . Navarra and La Rioja There is a high amount of precipitation with hot summers and cold winters. In the center lies the extensive central plateau Meseta (Tafelland) with the regions Extremadura and La Mancha , It is characterized by extremely hot summers, very cold winters and low rainfall. The third zone is the coastline with the southern one , of the and , Here ocean breezes ease the hot summers, but there is also little rainfall. Of the over 600 grape varieties are many used only locally. Of the 2010 (Statistics Kym Anderson ):
A new classification system with a registered designation of origin was introduced in 1970, based on the Italian and French wine laws. About half of the vineyard has until now DO status. Around 70% of Spanish production is accounted for by simple consumption or table wines. About the quality designation "Denominación de Origen" is the name of the DO (for example, Alicante, Ribera del Guadiana or Tarragona), only the sparkling wine Cava and the sherry there is an exception, as the names speak so to speak for themselves. The regions with their areas classified as DO, DOCa or Vino de Pago:
The central organ for all quality wines is the INDO (National Institute of Denominaciónes de Origen), with each DO area having its own regulatory authority, the "Consejo Regulador". In this sit winery, producers, traders and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as biochemists. This authority defines with the "Reglamento" the approved grape varieties, the permitted documents, the yield in hectoliters per hectare, the stocking density, the pruning and the production methods (maturation technique, alcohol content, residual sugar, dry extract values). The authority also decides on new plantings. Only after Examination of the wines by a committee of the Consejo the label is released.
Wine categories : In August 2009, the EU wine market regulations became valid for all member countries with fundamental changes to the wine names and quality levels. There are the following new names or quality levels (see also in detail under ):
Vino (formerly Vino de Mesa or ) =
IGP (formerly VdlT) =
DOP = or the alternatively possible old designations DO, DOCa, VCIG, VdP =
IGP (Indicación Geográfica Protegida) : There are 41 IGP areas.
DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida) : For quality wines, there are five different categories within the DOP designation, which may be used as traditional names:
VCIG (Vino de Calidad con Indicación Geográfica) : These are quality wines of geographical origin with regional characteristics regarding grape varieties and winemaking (formerly this was a step between land and quality wines or a DO precursor). There are seven such areas.
DO (Denominación de Origen) : There are 67 DO areas
DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) : This level was introduced in 1988 (and is similar in scope to the DOCG in Italy). It is awarded only to wines from outstanding areas whose production is controlled with particular care. Only two areas have been classified, namely Rioja in 1991 and Priorato in 2001. Will be the next candidate Ribera del Duero called.
Vino de Pago (DO) or Vino de Pago Calificado (DOCa): This name was introduced in 2003 for vineyards or vineyards with a special character. They can be within a DO or DOCa range, but also outside it. Mostly they are in possession of a single winery. A detailed description as well as a complete list of the 17 classified areas is under Vino de Pago contain.
In addition, there are a variety of traditional names associated with winemaking and quality. The most important of these are:
Maturity : Traditionally, Spanish wines are only at marketed. Depending on the type of wine, there are specifications for the aging time in barrel and / or bottle. Leading producers often go far beyond these deadlines. The white and rosé wines each have only six months to mature in barrel and may each come one year earlier in the trade; There are hardly any Reservas or Gran Reservas. For the red wines, there are the following names:
Joven : Young wine, which is sold in the year after the grape harvest and only has matured for a short time (maximum six months) or not at all in the barrel. These are intended for immediate consumption.
: These wines must have matured for at least 24 months, including six months in barrel and 18 months in bottle.
: These wines must have matured for at least 36 months, of which at least 12 months in barrel and the rest in the bottle. Is reserved for DO and DOCa wines.
Gran Reserva : These wines must have matured for at least 60 months, of which at least 18 months (until 2005 it was 24) in barrel and dRest in bottle. Is reserved for DO and DOCa wines.
Aging Classification : Regardless of the terms for Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, there are terms that may be used depending on aging and disassembly. These are Añejo (24 months), Noble (18 months) and Viejo (36 months). These are not without controversy, since they attest to this a priori a "better quality" with higher age of a wine.
: Included are among other things candy degree (seco = dry, semiseco = semi-dry, abocado = semisweet, dulce = sweet) and wine (Clarete = bright red wine, Cava Sparkling wine, tinto = dark wine, rosado = rosé wine, generoso = dessert wine).